LABOR DAY SPECIAL – WORK
In honor of labor day we will be talking about work. Not the 9-5 kind. And I’m not even talking about putting in extra work in the bedroom. Though, that wouldn’t hurt. I mean it might not be the emphasis of today, but um er uh, you can still do it. However, today I want to focus on the work needed to sustain.
One of the goals of The Edusexual is sustainability. I want you to take all you learn and build a sustainable relationship. One in which you are free, open, honest, and well…kinky, if you so desire. The more you know, the more you can do.
With that being said let me give you a few scenarios.
You meet, fall in love, have great sex, and decide to make a commitment.
You meet, have sex, have great sex, get Dickmatized, fall in love, and decide to make a commitment.
You meet, fall in love, make a commitment, have sex (great or otherwise). Yes some people still go the traditional route.
Fast forward into this great love affair.
How is the sex looking? Is it sex by numbers? Can you describe the sex and the length of time it will take before it even happens.
When we think of longevity in relationships, we need to include sex.
SEX IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
No for real. It is a physical connection between two partners. It needs to be maintained. Sexual boredom can be a death sentence. Yes it takes more than sex to maintain a relationship. BUT do not devalue the importance of sex within your relationship.
Loss of interest
Loss of desire
Loss of partner (separation, divorce)
According to The Kinsey Institute [for Sex, Gender, and Reproduction]- Sexual dissatisfaction is associated with increased risk of divorce and relationship dissolution. (Karney, 1995).
No sex, bad sex, sex by numbers – It can only last for so long before one of the above start to occur. So yes you need to communicate, get your grove back, but more importantly, try not to lose it.
Family, Kids, Aging Parents, Finances, Career/Job…Hell I’m stressed typing it. All of those things can creep in and affect your sex life. You know what else can do it?
We become so comfortable in the routine, we forget to shake it up a little. It’s sex. Have fun.
Do it on the kitchen table.
Do it in the car
Do it on a Tuesday (instead of your normally scheduled weekend)
Be late for work and join your partner in the shower
Now I’m not saying do it all the time. This is real life and not books. Nor am I saying you should be a walking hard-on for your partner. Again this is real life not fiction. But I’m saying put sex on the list.
Y’all know how much I love definitions. So lets get some real definitions of sex, then I’ll break it down Edusexual style.
- The sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of living things that are involved in reproduction by two interacting parents and that distinguish males and females(Merriam – Webster definition)
- The instinct or attraction drawing one sex[gender] toward another, or its manifestation in life and conduct.(Dictionary.com)
- Any consensual behavior between two or more individuals involving genital contact and bodily penetration (Gawker.com)
Alright so let me give you The Edusexual definition of sex.
SEX – lust , attraction, and/or desire manifested through a series of physical connections, including copulation, between two or more individuals that result from verbal, behavioral, and emotional cues
(I must admit until recently my definition probably would have said “two individuals” rather than “two or more.” Now that I’m aware the limitlessness of love, attraction, and physical copulation The Edusexual simply can’t ignore it.)
Okay let me break that definition down further.
Sex does not begin or end with copulation.It is more than just a penis. More than just a vagina. It’s more than a hump, more than a pump, more than a thrust. It can start with a look. A desire. A Fantasy. It’s intimate moments. Breaths. Touches.
That one night stand – That was fucking. Those slow caresses, deep breaths, touching, feeling, loving, being fully connected, emotionally driven sex – that’s making love. We are talking about Sex. Though I will say making love is a a form of sex.
SEX IS A PRIORITY
Not number 1. Hell not even number 2, but it should make it on the top 10. Heck I say top 5.
Make time for sex. Make time for each other. Make time to connect. But more importantly, dont let the spark die. Make it high on the list of things important to sustaining your relationship. After all, you’re in this for the long haul.
Now instead of me talking about sexual longevity and it’s importance, I think its best to hear from someone who has it. After 25 years of marriage, I think romance author Deatri King-Bey is more than equipped to talk about longevity. So tell us what you know about keeping that spark for the long run.
In the movie Hope Springs (starring Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep), a couple that has been married thirty-one years has lost the sexual spark between them. They seek marriage counseling in hopes of reigniting that spark. Excellent movie. My twenty year old with me (she had no idea who Meryl Streep or Tommy Lee Jones were YIKES.) and loved it also. Go see the movie.
I’ve been married twenty-five years, and I’m often asked how the king and I keep our spark going. That is not an easy question to answer, and people are completely shocked when I say we don’t keep our spark going. See, you’re in shock right now, aren’t you? Don’t worry. I’ll explain. By the way, I call my hubby the king as do our friends and family. He seems to think he’s the master of the universe, so everyone calls him the king. Anywhoooo, back to that spark.
The first thing you need to understand is the base of what a spark is. A spark is not something that endures for a long period of time. Think about it. Spark plugs do what? They shoot off that burst of energy to get the engine going. What about the spark used to light a fire or ignite the flame of a butane lighter? You get the point. When it comes to sexual relationships, the spark concept works the same way. It only takes a moment for a spark to ignite sexual desire among partners. The key isn’t keeping the spark going, but knowing how to set a spark off.
So let’s start with a new relationship. That’s an easy one. Nothing like a good dose of lust. I believe there is more lust early in a relationship to work like a magnet to your significant other. Lust for one another is a way to encourage us to bond sexually. Early on, because the lust level is so high, just about anything will set off a spark. Think about it. Early in a relationship, isn’t it like you can’t get enough of each other? You are learning each other, exploring and it’s an exciting time.
I was only eighteen when the king and I married. I could count the number of sex partners I’d had on one hand and have fingers left over. Okay, so I can still count the number of sex partners I’ve had on one hand and have fingers left over, but the me of twenty-five years ago was a lot more naive sexually than I am today. No matter how sexually experienced you are, early on in your relationship that extra boost of lust will set the sparks for you.
I was fortunate to have been raised in a two parent household with my siblings in a small town in central Illinois. I remember when I was three years old and my mother would wrap me up in a kagillion blankets to carry me out to the car, which my dad was outside warming up and cleaning the snow off. I remember how they used to hold hands and touch a lot. I remember how they’d sneak glances at each other. It didn’t compute to me back then. But when I look back with my forty plus year old eyes at my memories, I see that spark between them. Intimacy is where the spark lives. Intimacy isn’t sex. It’s a prelude. That touch, that look, that call… It’s the essence of the spark. Always keep intimacy in your relationship.
So let’s move forward seven maybe ten years into your relationship. When I was around seven years old, my father returned to college. He worked and went to school and my mom worked and began expanding her friendship circle at church (which at the time my dad seemed to be allergic to <smile>). It was like my parents had two lives. The life they shared with us (my siblings and myself) and their separate lives outside of our home. When I was in the military, my captain was telling us about his youngest finally being seven so his wife was returning to school. When my youngest was five, my husband and I decided we’d both return to college. See a pattern?
This is a very dangerous time in a relationship. This is when the seven year itch can creep in (which doesn’t necessarily happen at seven years). You’ve gotten to know each other in the bedroom and are more comfortable with your relationship. You’ve also grown as a person and are probably more confident in yourself and ready for a new phase in your life just as your partner may be ready for a new phase. It’s been years so you’ve either grown apart or together. If you had children early on, they will be in school or entering school. Intimacy is decreased because of time constraints plus comfort level. You’d think being comfortable with your partner is a good thing, which it is, but it is also a bad thing. Comfort can drown out intimacy and prevent that spark from flaring as much as one needs for a healthy sexual relationship.
I am shocked every time I hear someone say that because they are married, they don’t worry about their appearance nearly as much. They have a live in sex partner so don’t think about wooing or being wooed by their partner. They don’t have time or the need to focus on their sexual relationship. They are comfortable with their home life, then they go out in the world and someone pays them special attention. That attention they used to receive from their partner or that they used to give to their partner. See what I’m getting at? Is the spark gone for you and your partner? Nope. You just have to continue to set it off.
I take care of myself physically because we have a lot of health issues in my family from diabetes to thyroid issues to high blood pressure. I also take care of myself because my vanity demands it, but another reason I take care of myself physically is I like the way my husband looks at me. I like that he’s still attracted to me. And I like it that he does things to remain attractive in my eyes. It makes me feel like he cares.
Now let’s not confuse attraction with love. If my husband gained a hundred pounds, I wouldn’t love him any less, but I’d be a complete liar if I said I’d be as attracted to him. Now of course our bodies change with age and so does our taste. But I find it odd that some people seem to be offended when you ask them what they do to be attractive to their mate. Do I do everything my hubby wants? Hell no. I have my own style and way. I love my style and am confident in it. And he likes that. He knew what he was getting into when he married me. LOL. Anywhoooo, I’m sure you get it. There is nothing wrong with doing things to be attractive to your mate and nothing wrong with your mate doing things to be attractive to you. As a matter of fact you should do these things. There is nothing wrong with flirting with your significant other or him flirting with you.
Why do we work to catch our mate but not want to work to keep them interested? Why do we allow comfort to become our enemy? Why are we willing to dedicate time to everything except one of the most important relationships in our lives?
I’m not saying you have to wake up hours early to put on full make-up and become a health nut, but find that happy medium. Continue to woo your mate and let them know you want to be wooed. Keep the intimacy in the relationship. Set up date nights and surprises for each other. Heck, pick up a book or two for ideas on how to seduce your lover. Have fun with it. I don’t know about you, but I love intimacy and sex. It’s not a chore. If you find intimacy and sex a chore, do something different. I’m sure you two can come up with ways to set that spark.
When I was a teen, I wondered if my parents liked each other. I knew they loved each other, but loving and liking are two different things. They barely touched or were in the same room. They both worked, rushed around to get my siblings and myself and our family members who didn’t have transportation around. Busy, busy, busy, busy.
Fifteen years or so into a relationship is another dangerous time. Who am I kidding? All times are dangerous, but hang in there with me. The business you had at the seven year itch time is nothing compared to what you will be dealing with come fifteen years down the road from the beginning of your relationship. Not only are you dealing with a shortage of time and family issues, but you will also be carrying a lot of baggage. It’s best to deal with issues as they come along, but let’s be honest. That’s not always going to happen. There will be grudges and pain and regret. All spark killers. You have to work harder at your relationship. When you come to the point where you start pulling back from intimacy with your partner, you need to re-evaluate what you have, what you want, and how you are going to do to get where you want in your relationship. Are the lines of communication open? What happens outside of the bedroom affects what happens inside the bedroom. You may even need couple counseling. Remember, intimacy is where the sparks live. If you have all of this baggage keeping you from being intimate with your partner, lighting a spark will be more difficult and your sex life will suffer along with the rest of your relationship.
When I was twenty, I had my oldest daughter. When we took her back home for our parents to see and all that good stuff, I noticed something about my parents. They were sneaking peeks at each other like when I was three years old again, and they were all touchy again. Once you are twenty years into a relationship, I think you’re given a second chance. Your finances are usually more stable than when you started your relationship. The stressors of small children and teens is usually reduced to gone, and/or you are more mature and able to handle stress better. You’re comfortable in your relationship and with yourself… Oh, oh. Did I say comfortable? Remember, too much comfort is dangerous.
No matter if you have been in a relationship one day or twenty years or fifty years, maintaining a healthy sexual relationships takes two people willing to work together to keep those sparks flying. What happens outside of the bedroom is as important as what happens in the bedroom.
On a related note, as you grow older with your partner, both of your bodies will change. Once a woman hits forty, you may need to incorporate lubricants into your sexual activities. He may need performance enhancement drugs eventually. By the time you’ve been together twenty-five to thirty years, hopefully you’ve kept those lines of communication open so you can continue to supply each other’s needs.
There you have it. There is no big secret to setting sparks off throughout a long-term relationship. There is no complicated formula. Intimacy, communication, wooing and being wooed are the keys.
I hope you found my ramblings helpful. I think we all know these things, but sometimes we need someone to just come out and say it.
Some great lessons to be had. I hope all those hoping for sexual longevity in their relationship took notes. The three (main) lessons I took away were:
- Communication – I’m sure you’re tired of me talking about it. But hey its important. It is fundamental to any successful relationship. So i will keep talking about it. More on communication See the post on Lessons from Polyamory. Need even more, if you’re in the Chicago area I will be teaching a class Oct. 7th sponsored by The Meow University
- Review your wants, needs, and desires with your partner. (Still sounding like communication to me).
- What happens outside the bedroom effects what happens inside the bedroom. Now ain’t that the truth Ruth! Work it out THEN work it out.*insert porn music*
Thank you for the information Deatri. Not only does she write sexy romance, she lives it.
Until next time…Be Free, Be Safe, Be Loved